Sunday, December 28, 2014

Today in Church...

we found out that our greater neighborhood (a mile around Shepherd) is the third most violent in the city! There are at least 15,000 people in this small area.

It's great when some of the bigger churches from the burbs come in and help out (Shepherd COUNTS on these AMAZING volunteers!)  BUT what helps most is when people move in, develop relationships with their neighbors, and face what they're facing.

If you want to see this lived out, come visit.  Thanks to fantastic, Christian neighbors that intentionally moved into a struggling neighborhood,  our block is a green square in the midst of orange and red on the crime map.  It works!  We don't need more police, we need more Christians willing to move in and get their hands dirty.



I've had lots of people ask, "Do you feel safe?"  I can honestly say that I have never felt like I was in any kind of danger.  I know God planted us here for a reason and HE will keep us safe.  



Saturday, December 27, 2014

Hard Things

Sorry for being MIA so long!

We discovered tonight that Mitike has not been taking her medicine--she "does not like it and doesn't have to take it."  I'm sure this is pretty common (one of my students has to be watched very closely too!)  I just feel a lot of frustration--we've been back in the States for a year and a half and have seen no progress.  Matt and I are both at a loss of what to do.

Then I read this :

Equipped for Hard Things

by Joyce Meyer - posted December 27, 2014

For this commandment which I command you this day is not too difficult for you, nor is it far off. 
—Deuteronomy 30:11
"This is too hard" is one of the excuses we hear most frequently. But we are equipped by God's Spirit to handle hard things. We are anointed to press through and see victory. The next time you are tempted to say something is too hard, look at Deuteronomy 30:11, which says, "It is not too difficult!"
Anything God leads you to do, you can do. God never leads you to do something unless He gives you the power and the ability to do it. Prepare yourself for right action with power thoughts. Think, I don't know how I'm going to do it, I don't feel like I can do it, but God is leading me to do it. And I believe if He is leading me to do it, then I can. Because I believe I can do whatever I need to do through the power of God that resides in me.
Power Thought: Nothing God asks of me is too difficult.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Journals

Tonight I was grading my student's journals.  One entry said, "Dear Santa, could you please bring me my sister?  I would like to see her again.  If not, could you bring me a toy?"

It breaks my heart to see parents forced to live apart from their children.  Siblings growing up not knowing or even seeing one another.  (If illegal immigrants go "home" to visit, they will be denied reentry.)

There is no easy solution.  Pray that God gives our government wisdom and my student a chance to get to know his sister.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Shepherd's Christmas Store

Shepherd's Christmas Store is coming up in just a couple of weeks. The store serves families in our neighborhood by providing a gift for their child along with some needs (shoes, hats, gloves, etc).  There is even a group of volunteers that just wrap presents and interact with the families as they do.  Call to volunteer or donate items for the store.  (I'll be working all day on Sunday the 21st--come by and see me!)

Christmas Store – Gift Needs
New, unwrapped, age-appropriate gifts can be dropped off at any area KeyBank location or brought to our East Washington location at 4107 E. Washington by FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013.
For All Ages
  • Toys (no weapons or violent toys)
  • Books
  • Board Games
  • Socks – boy/girl (all sizes)
  • Packages of underwear – boy/girl (all sizes)
  • Hats, scarves and gloves (all sizes)

  • Ages 13+

    • Mp3’s
    • Weight sets
    • Gift Cards
    • Sports jerseys & Team memorabilia
    • Sports equipment
    • Remote controlled cars
    • Jewelry or Make-up Kits
    • Bath and Body Works
    • Flat Irons
    • Cameras
    • Room/Dorm D├ęcor
    • Pocket Video Games
    • Men’s/Women’s Wallets
    • Handbags
    • Headphones
    • Ipod speakers/docking stations

A Great Place To Work... Shepherd

Last night I took my car to get the right front tire fixed.  The man took it off and couldn't find anything wrong with it.  This morning I went out and the right rear tire was FLAT.  The sensors were switched!!  So, Matt aired it up real good and I went to work.  My administrator asked around for someone willing to take it and two young guys volunteered.  Unfortunately, neither could drive a stick, so a third guy joined them!  What a blessing to have a "family" at work that is willing to help out.

Please Pray For My Class!

My class starts class everyday with prayer requests.  These kids carry such burdens.  As their parents struggle to provide, my students struggle to help and/or cover for their parents.  One of my students was just in a serious car accident and another had an emergency appendectomy coupled with a very bad infection.

Pray with us.  As these kids see answers, pray that they come to know Him who provides.

It's Been A While!

Hi all,  a lot has been happening in our lives.  Most of it has been extremely challenging.  But we have had some "fun" moments.
Ana got an impromptu knitting lesson from Great Grandma.
 Our basset continues to astound me with her ability to be sound asleep one moment and deep into trouble the next!
 I have two elves from my childhood.  Following the current elf on the shelf craze, ours have been getting into a little trouble.
 And is convinced that they are really alive and love sneaking around.  She even found them looking into Grandpa's Christmas present! (On a side note--we were talking about traditions in my third grade class and most of them thought the elves were alive too!)
Ana lost some more teeth and is set to lose FIVE more in the near future! She is definitely singing "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth."

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sorry Folks...

we've had an extremely hard week in every way.  I'll try to update soon.  Please keep us in your prayers...that we can be faithful and loving AND wise.

This quote challenged me this evening!
God is more interested in what you’re becoming than what’s happening to you. Rick Warren

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Great Quote!


In the craziness of the past couple of years we have left many WONDERFUL things behind. (In many ways I am still grieving those losses.)  I cling to the hope that there are fantastic things ahead.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Angel Tree

Tonight I had the privilege to call a few families to confirm that they wanted to participate in the Angel Tree program.  One woman in particular sounded so "down" when she answered.  By the end of the conversation I could hear some life in her voice.

If you have the chance to buy some gifts for an Angel Tree child, take it.  Know that you are not only blessing the child, but encouraging a single mother as well.

Love Until It Hurts

Profound  and something I'm experiencing right now. It is human to draw away from hurt.  Only God loves the broken, hurtful person.  My prayer today..."Enable me to love in spite of the pain."

Appreciate your continued prayers!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

This Week...

 We bought a new (old) chair and fabric to recover it.  It's got beautiful wood and fits perfectly into our small space.  (Thanks Grandpa for going to pick it up.)
 We had nice weather outdoors.  Our beautiful, backyard tree started to change.

 The Gospel Choir from Olivet Nazarene University came to church today.  They were fantastic!  It was fun to see white, black, hispanic, and even one asian singing in this style.
We got to see one of our students from Singapore--Austin Flemming--who was there to see his girlfriend sing in the choir.  It's been such a blessing to see friends from Singapore come through Indy.  Of course we have more chances to see Nazarenes since Shepherd is such a hub for mission activities!

I'm super excited that our church will be taking a missions trip to Appalachia this Spring Break--and I get to help set it up.  Although we are in ministry every day, I've always felt that going somewhere new allows God to teach you different things.

We had a tough start to our week.  As I looked at the beautiful leaves on the ground, I realized many of them are brown.  A few keep their colors and brighten things up.  There are a lot of "brown" leaves around us.  It's our job to let God's love keep us bright so that we stand out for Him.  Trials will come--it's how you go through them that counts. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Fall Foliage Festival Parade

 We found great seats right where we walked up.  Since we were early we sat down to wait.  Motorcycles went by and provided some entertainment.  
 Ana must have perfected her princess wave in Disney World.  It was so funny to watch her wave to the "princesses" in the cars!
 We liked this horse because they had painted fall leaves on it.
 This pony was so CUTE in her tutu!
 We picked this as our favorite corvette.
 These little ponies were super strong!
 The best part?  The pounds of candy that they got--too bad mom only allows one piece a day!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Count Your Blessings

We went out shopping today--something we rarely do--Matt needed a new pair of shoes.  Sadly the Sears in the mall closest to us is closing.  They advertised things as being thirty percent off.  As athletic shoes can be pricey we went to see what they had.  He found a pair of New Balance tennis shoes that weren't gaudy colors and fit well.  They were listed at 60 dollars.  When the lady rang them up the total was just over 15 dollars!  Hooray!

Pumpkin waffles- seriously the perfect fall food!  I made them and they disappeared quickly!


It was 73 degrees today!  The kids wanted to put on their shorts :)

We found a deal at Menards the other day where are their boxed handles were buy one get one free.  So, we got 60 handles/knobs for just over 50 dollars.  That's cheap!!  Our cabinets have been updated from the seventies!


It's only the first day of my break.  I've been sleeping nine hours a night!  At this rate I will be recharged and ready to go when school starts back up.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Great News!

Matt saw the neurologist on Wednesday and has been cleared to drive.  He already has times next week to take a few classes and after those are completed the car can be modified.  This will mean he can take kids places and take himself to therapy!  It will also give a lot more freedom with his days.

Still need a lot of wisdom in deciding what is best for Mitike.  Appreciate your prayers!


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Flying In Style...

I came across this article written by a Singaporean flying Singapore Air in the "suites."  Basically, you have a whole cabin to yourself.  Check it out and drool--the food looks amazing!

Check it out!


Friday, October 3, 2014

Lamplighters


Matt is at a lamplighter conference at Shepherd this weekend.  Pray with me that he has a GREAT time and is encouraged in his spirit.  I'm excited that he is able to start going off and doing things by himself.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

If You Have a Moment...

please pray for my class.  There are going through some tough things this week.  One parent lost his job.  Once student had her home broken into and is really fearful right now.  Often during prayer time, they share that there is a lot of fighting at home.  Sometimes the kids have the weight of what is going on at home on their shoulders.  It is a heavy burden.  Pray that I can show them how to hand it over to Jesus.



A Few Pictures From Disney!

 My favorite!



Monday, September 22, 2014

Seriously??

Here's a tree over by Mitike's school.  It is a vibrant red.  With the unseasonably, cool weather the leaves are already changing.  Fall has suddenly appeared.  It suddenly we have been back in the States for over a year.  It's amazing how quickly time passes.  Don't waste a minute of it!

Our lovely, older neighbor died two nights ago.  He was a high school teacher and watched out for his neighbors.  He didn't have any family close by and my best memory was Ana and I taking over a piece of birthday cake for his 80th birthday.  Use today to bring a little joy into someone else's life.  The smallest effort can make the biggest difference.


The Best Birthday EVER....

 Seriously, it will be hard to top this one.  We started a week early with the Eilers at the Farm.
 We had a great time with yummy food and fun with the horses.  Ana shares Hannah with Grandma :)
She had fun trotting around and we had wonderful weather.
The cousins joined in the fun too!  

Currently Ana is in Disney World with the other Grandma for a week.  I'm sure I'll have a lot of pictures to post of that!  

THANK YOU for all the cards and birthday wishes.  Ana felt very loved!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sorry!

We have had an unusually busy week this week.

I met with the social worker at Mitike's school.  They cannot work with her due to some insurance requirements.  That was very disappointing.  (I can't imagine taking her to two more appointments a week.) The same night I went to Ana's back to school night.  I was impressed at the thoroughness of The Oaks and how excellently everything was done.  It makes me happy.

We've had significant issues with China and Mitike this week.  (Even Ana has thrown some major fits. She has really picked up on some of their negative behaviors.)  We're getting worn down.  I would compare us to a stub of a pencil!

It seems like God keeps giving me positive events/relationships to counteract what is going on at home.  Please pray that we keep seeking God in every situation despite the circumstances.




Friday, August 29, 2014

God's Placement...

We've had many question our reasoning in putting Mitike in a public school.  Some have been willing to listen to our answer-- others are just sure we are wrong--dead wrong.  
I believe though that she was placed in this school and in this classroom for a purpose.  Did you know that her teacher has a foster child with RAD and she is the first educator that has ever understood what we are going through?  I've tried not to be hurt as others tell me I'm not loving enough or "if you just try this..."  Mitike's teacher right from the beginning has been e-mailing what is going on at school and even offering to watch her so that we can have a break.  Did you also know that God placed her in a school where counselors, therapists, and psychologists work in the school?  This provides them opportunities to see the students in settings that most counselors never see.  All this documentation backs up what we have been saying all along.  It is a great help to us.  
Many Chinese proverbs hold a lot of wisdom.  Here's one of my favorites.
I'm so glad that God has placed me at Shepherd and allowed me to work with AMAZING people, but I'm touched that He also puts in our lives--NOT BY CHANCE--exactly who we need at just the right time.  Sometimes they are found in places we wouldn't normally look.  There are have been so many important people in our lives over the years in Singapore, China, and now the U.S.  Thanks be to God that He doesn't leave us high and dry.  People that we have met and loved will always be connected to us through His love.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Oaks

Tonight I took Ana to her back to school night at The Oaks Academy.  I felt at home right away.  I love the expectation of excellence with Christ at the core.  I know God has placed me at Shepherd for a reason, but I sometimes feel I'm a fish out of water.  BUT God doesn't call us to be comfortable.  He tells us to work hard WHEREVER He places us.

The meeting for Mitike went well.  This program provides us with options that wouldn't be available otherwise.  We are praying through some other options outside of this program as well.  God has already closed some doors.  We are grateful for His guidance.  Keep praying!  

PS I'm doing a devotional this Thursday on how your prayers and God's AMAZING FAITHFULNESS have sustained us!  THANK YOU!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Moving Forward and Our Continued Thanks!

As we look back on this past year since returning to the States from China, we see how your prayers/God's peace has carried us through so much.  When the policeman stationed at our house asked how I was "surviving" through all this, I said, "I have people around the world praying for me."  A one sentence testimony that says it all.  THANK YOU for your continued prayers!

Matt restarts therapy this week AND meets with his employment counselor.  Please pray for both of these. We also have not got clearance for speech and occupational therapy YET.  Please pray with us that it would move along.

We have our first meeting with Mitike's wrap around program on Tuesday.  This will involve social workers, counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers, etc. --it's very much a team effort.  Please pray for some change in her heart.  We are running low on HOPE.

PRAISES--I had opportunity to bake this weekend.  I'm so enjoying have a teensy bit of free time once again.
Ana starts school and is eager to go.  We're very thankful for neighbors that will take her!
My third grade makes me laugh.  I'm really enjoying being a part of their lives.
I've started playing with the worship team--it's been a blessing.  Matt has been asked to take a role in the church as well :)
Matt's dad went to South Africa and back (safely) in about a week!  We're glad to have him back.